IIt was such a lovely day when I painted this. The sun was bright and the sky blue and it was just a tad bit cool. The white against the blue and green and the plum colored maple out front all charmed me!
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The way the sky peaks through the tall trees is what drew me to this composition. It just seemed so lovely and simple, but not simple to paint. It was actually pretty complicated and took some effort to eliminate confusing shapes and colors. I wanted a feeling of late summer coolness and I think I have accomplished it. It is just a little shed in a grove of tall trees. A nice place to feel alive!
I think I am finally over the flu, although there are symptoms that appear to be very fond of me and want to stick around for a while. But, I went out today! I am itching to start new projects and paint up a storm, so I think all systems are 'Go!" The paintings I am posting this week are ones I did in Sept., plein air. I really hit the darks hard in these. I think that is because I was painting in bright light, as opposed to painting in artificial light inside. Since I am a neophyte at this process, I think my methods should improve with time. I don't think I will be like Eric Tobin or Peter Huntoon though, who paint outside all winter long. I was drawn to the bright light on the field behind the wall, and the setting which suggests children playing.
The title says it all. My daughter and her family left to move to Oregon today. I am elatedly happy for them and seriously sad to be missing them already. They sold their house yesterday...how fortunate is that, since they only put it on the market 2 weeks ago?! Anyway, this painting is titled "Moody" and that is how I am feeling. Thank goodness for Skype, unlimited long distance, and jet airplanes! I can't imagine how mothers felt when their children took off from the East to travel the Oregon Trail.....yikes!
My goal in painting this painting was to capture the light and the diagonals of the hills. My painting friend Heather Shay, who has a really good eye for evaluating the things that work and don't work in a painting, didn't like the look or placement of the hay bales on the hill, but this was one instance where I didn't follow her advice (feel free to write a comment letting me know your take on this). My eye was really drawn to those hay bales, and they do tell a bit of a story so I left their odd placement as my focal point. Sometimes the rules need to be broken (at least this is my excuse). The deep coolness of the copse of trees had a magical quality that I tried to capture. When I started the painting there was a herd of cows in their shade, but they quickly got up and left and then returned as soon as I was ready to pack up. I guess they were a bit self conscience. I will try to capture cows on another trip. Did I say, I love plein air painting?
Recently I was wishing for some time to be bored. Be careful for what you wish. I realize that there are a few things that will guarantee having boredom time, one being getting the flu. I don't recommend it and being bored is overrated anyway. I just felt like I was over-scheduled and over-committed. The only way to slow time down seems to be having lots of time to do "nothing." Apparently being confined to bed is my only option at this point. This painting was from a workshop I did with Randall Sexton. His advice helped push me to make bolder strokes. It was a plein air (outdoor) workshop in Vermont just prior to peak foliage. This day I was enchanted by the way the light fell on this hilly back slope of a beautiful colonial house right in town. I set up my easel in the shade of the house and proceeded to freeze all morning painting this. In the afternoon I moved into full sun and finally was warmed up. Honestly painting, particularly plein air painting, stops time if only for a few minutes. It is one of the reasons I love to go to that place...the zone.